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“If you don’t fit in with your peers, you get depressed” – Sudesna Ghosh, author of Just Me, the Sink and The Pot. 
Sudesna Ghosh

Today we have with us of our blog guest post author Sudesna Ghosh (Sue) a writer based in Kolkata. She was born in the United States and moved to India when she was 9. After completing high school there, she went back to the US for her higher education at the University of Rochester. She has also penned What Would I Tell Her @ 13 and News Now, along with several short stories. When Sudesna isn’t writing, she tries to do her bit for animal welfare.

Her recent release Just Me, The Sink and The Pot is a children and Young adult literature targeting the theme of body shaming in kids.

Your book talks about teenager issue of getting stressed because of physical appearance. How does it affect the overall self-esteem of the child in the near future?

Body shaming and body image issues effect people of all ages. It is one thing to dislike a thing or two about your appearance, and entirely a different thing to be obsessed with disliking your body and its imperfections. These imperfections of course come from society’s definition of beauty.

When a child grows up knowing and being told repeatedly that she is ‘different’ and that she doesn’t meet the standards of beauty, the child can do either of two things – learn to ignore it and maybe even laugh it off, or believe everyone else and develop low self esteem. The latter happens often and coming out of it isn’t easy unless you have a LOT of support. Support from parents, from teachers, from mental health professionals, is necessary to survive in the battle against negative body image.

Children, especially teens, are in a phase of life where fitting in is important. If you don’t fit in with your peers, you get depressed and dislike yourself for being different. The bad news is that there will be bullies who make other kids feel terrible about the way they look. Yet there is good news too; we as a society are speaking up about mental health issues in India. While depression and anxiety can result due to multiple reasons, I believe that even children/teens are getting professional help these days if needed and of course, if the adults in their lives are perceptive enough.

Growing up with body image issues has taught me one thing better late than never: there are overweight girls and women everywhere but everyone has a different level of self confidence. Confidence takes time to build and is easier to have no matter your weight as you grow older and realise what is really important to you and your life. Children are just starting out, learning about the world and trying to make themselves be liked – low self esteem can develop and should not be ignored.

 

 
JUST ME, THE SINK & THE POT
by
Sudesna Ghosh
 
Blurb
 
Meet Pamela, an overweight girl who’s looking back at her school days. From longing for a Valentine to dealing with a sibling who hates her, Pamela has a lot to deal with. She even has a special bunch of friends at home who she can turn to – but they aren’t the kind of friends you’d expect. Life sucks when you’re fat. Can Pamela ever be happy?
Read an excerpt of the book here…

 
One day a classmate asked me, “Where is your lunch?” I told her that I had already had it and went back to my fake laughter and smiles. The others chatted and laughed while they ate from their tiffin boxes. Some brought samosas or ice cream from outside the gate. My hunger pangs got worse as I saw all the food and smelt the delicious odours around me.
 
The ice cream cart was run by a sweet old man who knew me since I’d started school. He would ask me some days, “Child, you don’t want your favourite orange stick?” I would say no thank you and smile before running away from him and his cart. One day he seemed to be desperate to make me have an ice cream. “Child! Come here and have an ice cream. You don’t have to pay me,” he called out. I smiled, turned around and went to hide in an empty classroom. Two minutes later, I shrieked; the old man had found me. He was carrying a dripping ice cream for me. I started laughing. Then I started running away from him. The old man started running after me!

 

My classmates were shocked. The sports teacher was happy to see me run for the first time – I had never run before because fat moves when you run. Everybody would laugh. The lunch break ended with me accepting the mostly melted orange stick from the kind ice cream man. We were too tired to talk about the whole event. But it did make me a bit popular that year, with the school Yearbook including the story and a picture of me running away from a 6 feet tall man holding an ice cream.

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childhood incidents kept cropping up and I kept penning them. The only audience I had in mind was my childhood friends.” – Anand Suspi

Today on our blog guest post we have with us Anand Suspi whose recent release Half Pants Full Pants is the talk of the town especially when the readers are transported to their childhood after reading the book.
An advertising writer for over 20 years, he started with Mudra, Mumbai in 1995 and subsequently spent a large part of his career in Lowe Lintas working under Balki. He was the Creative Head of Lowe Delhi between 2007 and 2010. Currently, he lives in Gurgaon and is the co-founder of an ad agency called AndAnd Brand Partners.
Half Pants Full Pants is his first book, a sort of childhood autobiography set in Shimoga of the 70s and 80s. Given the era and milieu that he grew up in, it carries a flavor similar to that of Malgudi Days. The notable difference would be that every story is real and the characters are all in their mid-40s now, often reminiscing about the gloriousness of their growing up years.

 

My blog readers would want to know your motive behind writing this book?

Let me break this up into 3 parts:

Before writing:

This is an accidental piece of work. My advertising work keeps me so busy that I never had any notions of writing a book. As I have mentioned in the preface, I sat down to write a page or two to convince myself that I could write beyond advertising and ended up putting my childhood down.

 While writing: 

A few chapters into the book, I harboured no thoughts of wanting to write a book. Several childhood incidents kept cropping up and I kept penning them. The only audience I had in mind was my childhood friends. 

Post writing: 

Now on hindisght, I can surmise that the idea of the book is to re-live the innocence and simplicity of our growing up years. In the not-so-distant past, life was very real and meaningful. People led simple lives with much joy and contentment. Limited choices and exposure made us savour every little thing. Today, our lives have been twisted beyond recognition and reasoning. Technology has subtracted far more than it has added (at least, that’s how I feel) We are living vacuous lives consuming terabytes of idiotic stimuli, commenting upon anything and everything (where 99% of things have no relevance to our lives) and constantly comparing ourselves to the world around. For most people, the locus of control has become external. It’s a stupid way to live. I know that this book will take every reader back to his or her real days. There’s nothing big or fanciful that happens throughout the book. It’s a collection of small joys, little adventures, naïve dreams, idiotic experiments and modest lives that all of us have lived through. I happened to pen it down but it is really, everyone’s book.

 

 
 
HALF PANTS, FULL PANTS
REAL LIFE TALES FROM SHIMOGA
by
Anand Suspi
 
 
 
Blurb
 
Half Pants Full Pants is a sort of childhood autobiography set in Shimoga of the 70s and 80s. Given the era and milieu that he grew up in, it carries a flavor similar to that of Malgudi Days. All the characters in the book are real and most of them are still in Shimoga, of course now in their mid-40s. Quite a few are from prominent families and are now active and important members of Shimoga. The book vividly captures the real childhood adventures of this generation of people in Shimoga. It’s a glorious reminiscence as well as a tribute to this wonderful town.
 
R. Balki says
 
“After Malgudi Days, I could never imagine that someone could create a childhood classic for adults to regain their innocence even for a few hours. Suspi’s tales would have made R K Narayan smile. Oh! That beautiful Kannadiga gene!”
 
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More about the author

 

Featured in New Indian Express

 

 

 

 

 

The Hindu

 

 

 

 

 

 

Times of India

 

 

 

 

 

 

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“Writing is about peeling the layers of a human soul.” – Rubina Ramesh

If you are an author then you surely know Rubina Ramesh the founder of THE BOOK

92b45-rubina
Rubina Ramesh

CLUB (TBC) that has changed the fate of many Indian Indie writers. Living across the globe she make sure to do justice to all books that come across her book club. She is an awesome reviewer, avid reader, mentor, inspiration and now she also hons the feather of an author to her already vibrant cap.

Author of Knitted Tales & Marijuana Dairies today in her interview, Rubina Ramesh talks about her recent release Finding The Angel and her journey as an author.

  • Welcome Rubina!! You have been in the book world for so long. What took you so long to publish your first book?

Hi Paromita, Thank you so much for these lovely questions. I apologize to you on this public platform for not answering your questions earlier in my last blog tour. I have no excuse except that Life happened.

I was a published author before I started TBC. I had already got a few stories published in an anthology written for a children’s hospital in the USA and by Indireads Publisher. It was a good experience and it made me fall in love with writing. As to why my stories came much later than the formation of TBC, well good things take the time to happen. I think I needed the push. It’s a very scary feeling Paromita. The first baby steps we take. Will we be liked? Will our stories be appreciated? All these questions dampen one’s spirit. I needed to find my point of bravery. I am just glad that I did.

  • What are your dreams as an author?

To write. Find my own imaginary hut in the woods and be lost in that for hours. Where voices and duties don’t reach me. Just me and my words – lost for hours. I am yet to find them 😛

  • What all factors you consider while marketing your book?

I am very particular about my covers. You can ask my cover designer, Sachin. He hates me. I keep on changing every other day. It takes a lot of patience from his side to keep up with my changing moods. But I feel beauty reaches one’s soul through one’s eyes. How can I neglect the cover? Then comes the presentation of the book and releasing it at that right moment. I am not a big fan of event creations. So you will not find any event page on my facebook. I am a big believer of blog tours. No, not because I have TBC. But many reviews at one particular time released on the net – the creates a buzz. At least that is what I have witnessed with my books.

  • TBC has given a big platform to many authors. Besides TBC how else you promote your book?

It has always been TBC for me. And I am very proud of each member of our group. They will not spare even me in their reviews. Recently one author told me clearly that she is very scared of a blog tour. Yes, Blog tours can make your book or break your book. It needs a lot of guts to see your friends thrashing your book in public. So unless you are sure of yourself as a writer and you are a constant learner in life, I won’t suggest that. My group does NOT thrash any writer. We openly say when a book needs editing. But we NEVER thrash a writer. I stand by every honest reviewer’s views. What writers have to accept that a negative review is not about demoralizing an author. It’s not even about bringing an author down. When I feel an author is not ready for this blog tour, I do say no to an author. It takes a lot of confidence and guts to go through a blog tour, like the ones we do. We don’t promise sales in our blog tours. We promise an author an audience, their very own readership and fan following – which might translate into their sales. But as of now, we have to believe that no review is negative. They are the thoughts of varied readers which prove that you are an honest writer. How can that be wrong?

  • You don’t write in a specific genre. Please tell us your inspiration for your published and upcoming books?

I have never understood genre Paromita. I think you will relate to that. Your one book is about an immigrants journey and another about a cute girl Mishri. Any incident, any anecdote and any love story that has made a home in my heart, is my genre. You get that, don’t  you?

  • Where do you see yourself as an author after five years?

With at least 30 titles published. At least I hope so. And each genre making my readers accept me as an author.

  • Your message for the readers.

Believe in your emotions and stop finding answers in those who says they will teach you the art of writing. Writing is about emotions. Writing is about peeling the layers of a human soul. Who can teach you that? They can give you the nitty gritty of grammar. They can share their experience, their thoughts but if anyone says they can teach you the art of writing, that is a bull. Your experience, your vision. Your word is your art.

  • Random questions:

  • Your favorite read:                                                                           Gone with the Wind
  • If not an author than what?                                                        Marketer or Publisher
  • What you consider first while choosing a book to buy?               Cover. I am a very shallow that way 😛

Your pillar of strength in writing?                                                               TBC and TBCM

  • Your favorite author?                                         Nora Roberts and Sidney Sheldon. Sorry, cannot ditch either one of them.

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FINDING THE ANGEL
by
Rubina Ramesh
 
 
 
Blurb
 
All She wanted was love…
 
Shefali is a die-hard romantic. Having lost her parents at a very tender age, she is in search of a place which she can call home. Her passion for Art lands her a job as an art curator to the famous artifacts of the Ranaut Dynasty. When she meets the scion, Aryan Ranaut, she feels that her dream might come true until…
 
All He wanted was to trust…
 
Living the life of a modern day Prince is no easy task for the young and dashing Aryan Ranaut. Having lost his father to a rapacious woman, Aryan has severe trust issues. But upon meeting Shefali, he feels he could let down his guard. Until…
 
All They need is to find The Angel…
 
Just as Aryan realizes his love for Shefali, one of the most precious artifacts, The Angel, goes missing from the Ranaut collection. All fingers point towards Shefali—more so because she leaves the palace without telling anyone on the very night of the theft. 
 
Finding the Angel is a story where duty clashes with love and lack of trust overrides passion. Under these circumstances, can The Angel bring the star-crossed lovers together?
 
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More about Rubina Ramesh

Rubina Ramesh is an avid reader, writer, blogger, book reviewer, and marketer. She is the founder of The Book Club, an online book publicity group. Her first literary work was published in her school magazine. It gave her immense pride to see her own name at the bottom of the article.She was about 8 years old at that time. She then went to complete her MBA and after her marriage to her childhood friend, her travel saga started. From The Netherlands to the British Isles she lived her life like an adventure. After a short stint in Malaysia, she finally settled down in the desert state of USA, Arizona. Living with her DH and two human kids and one doggie kid, Rubina has finally started living the life she had always dreamed about – that of a writer.

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“The small things people do for us sometimes make a huge impact in our lives and we sometimes don’t even know or realize the impact and that was the main thing I wanted to portray in this story.” – P.G Van

Today on our blog guest post section we have with us author P.G Van who debuted in October 2015 with her first novel, Destiny Decides. She loves to spend time with family and is a strong believer of retail therapy (mostly shops for boots and purses!!). She enjoys giving her readers an escape to the world of love and romance. P.G. Van lives in San Francisco, U.S.A. with her family.
She will be sharing her thoughts on her recently released book, The Evil Twin?

P.G Van

What were your thoughts when you penned the book, The Evil Twin?

My only thought around the time I was getting ready to work on my next book was that I wanted it to be a standalone story. I was getting ready to publish the second part of my Pure Destiny Series and needed to write about characters that were different from the characters in the series.
A few incidents placed years apart pulled this story together and I felt strongly enough about this story to shelf the one I was going to write and started creating Vinnie and Reayan’s characters.
I wanted the story to be about someone who has been through so much in their life that nothing could shatter their strength and resolve, only to find out something about themselves that they never imagined in their wildest dreams.
Every person in our lives is responsible for molding a certain aspect of a person and I wanted to write about how a person like Vinnie, who was so focused on meeting her goals falls in love with Reyan, bonds with Annie like she were her soul sister and how she was willing to help an acquaintance to keep their parents happy. The small things people do for us sometimes make a huge impact in our lives and we sometimes don’t even know or realize the impact and that was the main thing I wanted to portray in this story.
This is a story of love, not just the love between lovers but the love born out of true friendship, the love for a cousin who thinks the world of you and how you can always make room for more love in your heart even if comes concealed in the form of hatred and betrayal.
You can stalk author P.G Van @

       

 

THE EVIL TWIN?

by

P.G. Van

 

 

Blurb

 

Vinnie lost her parents when she was ten and lives in San Francisco with her aunt and her teenage cousin. She never expected a simple act of kindness would be life altering. Reyan comes into her life threatening to shake up her focus and challenges her resolve. He is everything Vinnie wants in a man and he shows up just when she thought she had everything she needed to stay focused on her life and her goals. 

 

Will he crack her titanium tough exterior and get to her heart? Will she let him into her life especially with what she has been through since she was ten? Will she trust Reyan to help her recover from her emotional wounds? 

 

Will she get to the bottom of why people think they have seen her at places that she has never been to before. Does she have a doppleganger or a twin? 

Follow Vinnie’s and Reyan’s love story as she learns the true meaning of love, trust and family.

 

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“Writing for me is catharsis, an escape into a world of my creation, where my characters do as I tell them, where calamities happen, but I give them tools to deal with them.”- Sunanda J Chatterjee

Today on the Blog Guest Post we have with us the multitalented persona, Sunanda J Chatterjee, the author of Fighting for Tara. A Doctor by profession and a writer by passion, she has two more books in her kitty, The Vision and Shadowed Promise.

Today she would talk about her inspiration and love for writing.

Question: From being a Pathologist professional what inspired you to become an author? Your latest release, Fighting for Tara, has gathered accolades internationally. We would love to hear the story behind this book.

Sunanda J Chatterjee

 

 

 

I grew up in a Bhilai, a central Indian Steel City, where almost all our neighbours worked in the steel plant, and most were engineers or doctors. As such, the pressure to become an engineer or a doctor was immense, even more so than the rest of the country. My father is an engineer and my mother a science teacher. My three siblings became engineers and I became a doctor. I think, if I had grown up anywhere else, I might have gone into fine art or creative writing, my true love. But as a doctor, I joined the Indian Air Force, then came to the US to pursue a PhD in cancer research. Academics and family became the most important drivers of what I did. I completed my residency training, and became a pathologist.

As a pathologist, I make life-changing diagnoses on a daily basis. Many patients get a clean bill of health, but some get chemotherapy or other harsh medications based on what I find in their biopsy. I carry the burden of the words “carcinoma” or “melanoma” or other such deadly diagnoses with me. It is a draining, harsh environment.

When I took this job, on my day off, I found myself alone at home, and after all errands were done, I had a few free hours. For the first time since I was a child, I actually had time to indulge in creative activities. Writing for me is catharsis, an escape into a world of my creation, where my characters do as I tell them, where calamities happen, but I give them tools to deal with them. I took up writing as a hobby, but as a die-hard academic, I took writing courses and read umpteen books on fiction writing. As I learnt more techniques, I kept changing my first book several times, and by the time I published it, ten years had gone by.

The second and third books became easier to write.

Fighting for Tara was conceived while I was waiting in the dentist’s office reading an issue of National Geographic, when an article caught my attention. It was about child brides in Afghanistan, photographed with their often elderly husbands, all smiling into the camera. The idea took root. Child marriage is deplorable, but some of the brides had no idea that it was appalling. They looked happy.

So I created my lead character, Hansa, who is married off at a young age in Rajasthan, and is soon widowed. She has indomitable spirit, even when she is to be wedded to her brother-in-law after her husband’s death. She takes action only when she is asked to drown her baby girl.

As thirteen year old Hansa grew up, I put myself in her shoes and worked within her constraints to create obstacles and opportunities for her. I think I grew up with her. I researched child marriage and female infanticide extensively. I researched sexual assaults on women, and the beliefs of Jehovah’s Witnesses. I researched a lot of legal aspects, which I won’t disclose for fear of spoilers.

Mental and physical violence against women is a global phenomenon. But there are courageous women who overcome harsh realities in their lives, and go out of their way to help others. That idea created Rani Sahiba and other supporting women in the book.

After I wrote the book, I needed to make sure that I had the facts correct. So I had my book reviewed by a couple of ex-Jehovah Witnesses and a couple of lawyers for the court scenes, to make sure the situations were authentic.

My wish is to create awareness about child marriage and female infanticide. During my research, I discovered a wonderful organization Girls Not Brides, whom I support for their work in preventing child marriages globally.

More about the author

Freelance author, blogger, and ex-Indian Air Force physician Sunanda Joshi Chatterjee completed her graduate studies in Los Angeles, where she is a practicing pathologist. While medicine is her profession, writing is her passion. When she’s not at the microscope making diagnoses, she loves to write fiction. Her life experiences have taught her that no matter how different people are, their desires, fears, and challenges remain the same.
Her themes include romantic sagas, family dramas, immigrant experience, women’s issues, medicine, and spirituality. She loves extraordinary love stories and heartwarming tales of duty and passion. Her short stories have appeared in short-story.net and induswomanwriting.com.
She grew up in Bhilai, India, and lives in Arcadia, California with her husband and two wonderful children. In her free time, she paints, reads, sings, goes on long walks, and binge-watches TV crime dramas.
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FIGHTING FOR TARA
 
 
 
Blurb
How far will a mother go to save her child?
“I have no use for a baby girl. Get rid of her tonight!” He towered over her as she cringed in fear.
But Hansa, a thirteen-year-old child-bride in rural India, refuses to remain a victim of the oppressive society where a female child is an unwanted burden. Instead of drowning her baby, Hansa escapes from her village with three-month-old Tara.
Hansa soon discovers that life as a teenage mother is fraught with danger. But a single lie opens the door to a promising opportunity far from home.
Just seven years later, Hansa finds herself fighting for Tara’s life once more, this time in an American court, with a woman she calls ‘Mother.’
Will the lie upon which Hansa built her life, defeat its own purpose? How can she succeed when no one believes the truth? 
A story of two mothers, two daughters and a fight to save a child, Fighting for Tara explores the depth of love and motherhood.
Read an excerpt of #FFT here:

 

The soft light of the lantern flickered, casting a dim golden glow in the tiny hut, as shadows danced on its windowless mud walls. Thirteen-year-old Hansa squatted on the floor beside a metal bucket and stared at the glimmering water, dreading the task before her. Her baby whimpered on the floor, struggling in the hand-sewn cloth blanket. Beside the door stood the terracotta urn that held the ashes of her husband.
Hansa heard the grating snores of her drunken brother-in-law Baldev, soon to be her husband, as he slept outside on the wood-framed coir cot in the moonless night. She shuddered.
Just an hour ago, Baldev had yelled at her. “I have no use for a baby girl. Get rid of her tonight!” He towered over her as she cringed in fear.
She’d begged him. “I can’t do it!”
That’s when he’d slapped her. No one had ever hit her before… not even her elderly husband.
Hansa touched her cheek, which still stung from the humiliation and fear.
She doubted her courage to extinguish the baby’s life. Squeezing her eyes shut, she took a deep breath, hoping that dawn would bring her luck.
Tomorrow morning Hansa would travel with Baldev and all the goats they could load into his bullock-cart, and leave the village forever. She would go to a distant land, become Baldev’s second wife, learn the household chores from his first wife, and bear him male heirs… Hansa shivered, apprehensive about her future.
But before her new life could begin, she and Baldev would take a detour to the river to disperse her husband’s ashes and discard her beautiful daughter’s body.
Somewhere deep in her heart, Hansa knew none of this was fair. It wasn’t fair that in a country with a rich heritage of brave queens, young girls were still forced into marriage, sometimes to men older than their grandfathers. It wasn’t fair that she’d been born to poor parents in rural Rajasthan, a state rife with archaic traditions. It wasn’t fair that she had matured early and was given to sixty-year old Gyanchand Rathore from the neighboring village of Dharni, whose first wife and child had died in a fire.
She turned her face away from the bucket, her heart refusing to carry out Baldev’s orders just yet. A shiver ran through her body as she tried not to imagine life without her baby. Think of something else! Think about Gyani!
Gyani’s absence filled Hansa with a dark desolation, a sense of doom, as if his death itself was a living, breathing, overbearing entity.
She thought of his kind eyes, his missing teeth and graying beard, the massive orange turban which she’d tied for him every morning, and the long kurta he wore, which never looked clean no matter how many times she washed it…
But Gyani was gone. Two nights ago, his heart had stopped beating in his sleep, while she slept under the same blanket, her baby right beside her. When she awoke at dawn to the rooster’s call, she had found his cold still body. She shuddered to think she had slept with a corpse, oblivious, in the comfort of her own youthful warmth. Her first encounter with death. And if she did as Baldev asked, there would be another. Tonight.
Gyani’s death had stunned her, and grief hadn’t sunk in. She had not wept for his departed soul, and her neighbor warned her that if she didn’t mourn his passing, she would never move on. But did Hansa really want to move on into a future that included Baldev but excluded her baby?
According to the custom of karewa, Hansa knew that a young widow would be married off to her brother-in-law, so that the money remained in the family. Her neighbor had told her it was her kismet, her fate.
Hansa was brought up not to challenge the norms of society, but to follow them. If the combined wisdom of her ancestors had determined that she should move to Baldev’s village and begin a new life, who was she to argue? She had no family left, no other place to go.
Baldev choked on his spit and coughed outside, jarring the stillness of the night, reminding her of the task ahead.
But while it was her duty to follow Baldev’s orders, she would trade the impending task for eternal damnation.
Her neighbor had said that killing a baby was an unforgivable sin, even though she’d herself drowned two of her daughters the day they were born. Women are the form of Goddess, she’d said, crying at the fate of her own rotten soul.
But it was a matter of survival. Produce a male heir or be turned out on the streets to beg. A female child was a burden. Even Hansa knew that; her father had reminded her of that every day of her life.
That prejudice was her reality.
Hansa was terrified for her own soul, but Baldev said, “A mother can’t be a sinner if she takes a life she brought into this world.” And then he had gone and got drunk on tharra.
Gyani had been unlike most men in the village. He had allowed her to keep the baby, to give her a name. The baby’s eyes glittered like stars on a moonless night.
She called her Tara. Star.
Hansa looked at her baby with pride and with remorse, as every fiber of her being protested, and her stomach turned and her throat tightened.
Outside, Baldev stirred.
Time was running out.
Tara whimpered again, and Hansa turned to look at her chubby fists cycling in the still air, throwing outsized shadows on the walls. Hansa’s hands shook and her mouth turned dry. She bit her lip, forcing herself to focus on the imminent task.
The water in the bucket shimmered black and gold, reflecting the dancing flame of the lantern, mesmerizing, inviting. Water, the giver of life…

 

She made up her mind. It was now or never.

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“Completing a book in any genre gives you an adrenaline rush equivalent to that of winning a medal.”
– Usha Narayanan.

Today on the Blog Guest Post we have with us the bestselling author, Usha Narayanan whose books have been loved by both adults and young adults alike. With top selling books like The Madras Mangler, Love,Lies and Layoffs, Pradyumna: Son of Krishna in her kitty she has won many hearts. Her latest book,The Secret of God’s Son, published by Penguin, is a sequel of Pradyumna: Son of Krishna and is already a bestseller. Today she is going to reveal her writing secret.

Me : Your first book, ‘The Madras Mangler’ was a thriller. Then you switched to mythology with ‘Pradyumna: Son of Krishna’ and ‘The Secret of God’s Son.’ You have also written romcom with ‘Love, Lies and Layoffs.’

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Usha Narayanan

My question, which genre did you enjoy writing the most?

Paromita, I thought I could answer your question by drawing parallels to the Olympic Games that have just concluded. Completing a book in any genre gives you an adrenaline rush equivalent to that of winning a medal. The journey is similar too ― the labour, the breakthrough, the finish line and hopefully the spotlight and applause.  ‘The Madras Mangler’ I would say is like synchronized swimming, an exercise that is both spectacle and sport. Writing a thriller requires perfect timing too and must lead to a finish that sets your heart pounding. Just as this sport demands huge levels of stamina, the thriller too calls for immense staying power as you execute quick moves that tantalize and entertain. The choreography takes place both above and below the water, as you make your victims and suspects tumble and somersault, thereby increasing the suspense and drama.

‘Love, Lies and Layoffs’ is like badminton, the sport made popular in India by our own Sindhu. A romcom, just like the game, features two lively players exchanging quick flurries and exhibiting swift reflexes. The players, both men and women, compete individually and in teams, for we must not forget the families and friends on either side, cheering or heckling from the sidelines! Both make for a spellbinding spectacle. However, in the game, we have only one winner whereas the romcom has two, with the lovers, find their happily ever after.

I think the writing of myth-based fiction such as ‘Pradyumna’ and ‘The Secret of God’s Son’ is similar to running a marathon, a sport that demands immense physical and mental strength. It is a grueling process requiring endurance, focus, skill, flexibility and a nimble mind. And the setting must be massive and spectacular, with huge cheering throngs! The possibility of reaching this pinnacle is what prompts every writer in this genre to take up the challenge.

As you may have inferred, mythology is my current favourite!

 

More about the author

Usha Narayanan had a successful career in advertising, media and corporate communications before becoming a full-time author. She has written several books, including ‘The Madras Mangler’, a suspense thriller, and ‘Love,Lies and Layoffs’, a Harlequin romcom. Her latest is ‘The Secret of God’s Son’, the sequel to her bestselling book,’Pradyumna: Son of Krishna’, both published by Penguin.

When she’s not juggling travelling, writing and interviews, Usha reads everything from thrillers to romances, provided her cat isn’t fast asleep on
her Kindle.

To know more about her, visit www.ushanarayanan.com or email her at author@ushanarayanan.com. Find her also at www.facebook.com/writerusha or tweet @writerusha.

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Media mentions

 
Praise for Pradyumna: Son of Krishna
 
Usha Narayanan has taken a quantum leap . . . to the outright spine-tingling narrative from the leaves of a time before. This book is Indian writing coming of ageFemina
 
Like the best of our mythological tales, this too, is a multilayered one . . .There is valour, there is cowardice, there is glory, there is shame, there is sex, lies and deceptionThe Hindu
 
This engrossing tale takes readers on a mythological sagaTimes of India
 

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 Blurb

 
With this cruel curse on Krishna, Queen Gandhari plunges mankind into the unspeakable evil of the Kali Yuga. 
 
It is up to Pradyumna to try and reverse the dire prediction. To journey into terrifying realms, confront Yama and Shiva, and to vanquish the Kali demon. In order to do so, he must shed all that holds a mortal back—his arrogance, his fears, his baser instincts… He must lead his people out of the swirling vortex of greed, disease and misery. And there is one powerful weapon still…the secret surrounding Pradyumna’s origin.  
 
Will he uncover it in time to fight off the cataclysm? 
In the answer lies the destiny of all humanity! 
 
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Where I feel my book is different is that I have stuck to the original as much as possible and the book is not just one character’s perspective – Karthik Rao

Today on our Blog Guest Post we have Karthik K.B. Rao, the 32-year-old software professional turned author based in Bangalore. Karthik says that he gets to meditate close to 3 hours every day on his bike thanks to the notorious Bangalore traffic. His hobbies include following cricket, Indian politics on the social media and Indian mythology. He also plays plastic ball cricket with his sons.

 

 

Today he will share with us some unpublished facts about his debut book The Mahabharata Code.

What makes your book, The Mahabharata Code, different from other books in the mythological genre? Is this part of a series?

This is not part of a series but I might write a sequel to this book which might have little/nothing to do with the Mahabharata.

The facet of Indian mythology my book is mostly focussed on is trying to prove their historicity itself. Were they actually a part of our history or were they mere made up fictional moral science stories? Where I feel my book is different is that I have stuck to the original as much as possible and the book is not just one character’s perspective. I have made a humble attempt to give scientific rational explanations to events described in these epics using concepts of physics, modern day technology as well as some of the practices followed in the software industry I am part of. I have also tried to explore further and explain some of the uncomfortable sections described in these epics like why did Rama ask Sita to undergo agnipariksha?  Why did Dronacharya ask Ekalavya his thumb as guru-dakshina? I have also used some of the ideas from books like chariots of god and tv series like Ancient aliens.

 

 

 
THE MAHABHARATA CODE
by
KARTHIK K.B.RAO
 


Blurb

 
“The Mahabharata Code is a personal account of the main protagonist Narayan Rao (NR), who claims to be an astronomer with NASA. NR and a few other crew members agree to take part in the NASA mission to visit this mystery planet from which they had received mysterious signals. Here, they meet a man with a long flowing white beard, and he introduces himself as Vyasa. He reveals that he has a crazy plan in mind and seeks NR and his members’ help in implementing this plan. He intends to recreate the entire Mahabharata on this planet to restore the faith of the primitive simpletons here. 
 
As the Mahabharata incidents start unfolding, NR realizes that Vyasa intends to recreate them page by page here, if not paragraph by paragraph. Also NR begins to realize that his son, Krishna, who is being groomed by Vyasa as Vishnu’s avatar, is nothing more than a pawn in Vyasa’s scheme of things. Other incidents of Mahabharata also unfold according to the original epic. Pandavas and Kauravas grow up hating each other and finally the restaging plan culminates with both the warring sets of cousins facing each other in the battlefield of Kurukshetra. 

Inexplicably, like the original epic, Arjuna develops cold feet seeing his own cousins, teachers and relatives on the opposite side. He seeks Krishna’s divine intervention. Is the brainwashed “alien” Krishna prepared for this intervention?”


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“I chose not to surrender but fight with leaving behind my footprints as an inspiration for others.” – Inderjit Kaur

 

Hello all! Today in our Blog Guest Post column, we have Inderjit Kaur, an author, motivator with a powerful voice of spreading positive words through her writingsA highly influential blogger and inspirational guide who with her tag line ‘Keep smiling, keep shining’, has brewed up with the original concept of living through her books of A living series. She shares with us about her recent book Kaleidoscope -Colours of Life, the third book under her under her ‘A Living Series’.

Inderjit Kaur

Your new book talks about inspiration of life. What inspired you to be an author?

What could be challenging then to change yourself and exactly that was the option that I chose.  I did suffer and survived 22 years of domestic violence headed with betrayal of relationship but I didn’t give up. I chose not to surrender but fight with leaving behind my footprints as an inspiration for others. When you reach a stage where the only option left is to release things clinging on you that are pausing your life, you feel enlightened and no longer a victim. You experience your mind is at ease even in difficult situations and this remarks you to a point of self-liberations. Simultaneously, you are blessed with more skill, mastering your potential and making yourself wiser every day culminating you to self-transformation that goes beyond transcendence.

I had originally thought to write a biography, but I felt there would not be enough information available to me. But inspirational words were jotted from core of my heart thus self-help and positive living books brewed up thus I was successful to create “A living series”- And now I’m pro to write only positive and inspirational ideas.

The colours of life pages the accounts of my own experiences, stories told by other people and the thoughts that I dwelled on while travelling through the times of my hardship and adversities, which just harnessed my true potential and discover the real me.

 

The third book in the Living Series is a Kaleidoscope to the life as the light it cast is more intense which witnesses to the most profound human experiences that I metaphor as Rainbow.

 

Hence the title  Kaleidoscope -Colours of Life.

KALEIDOSCOPE – COLOURS OF LIFE 
A LIVING SERIES: BOOK 3
BY
INDERJIT KAUR
 
 
Blurb
“Patience helps you endure all the troubles and issues that bother you. When you reach a stage, where the only remaining option is to release the things that are clinging on to you and pause your life, you feel enlightened and feel the positive impact of the change, and you no longer see yourself a victim of life. 
 
Kaleidoscope – Colours of Life is a of inspiring stories, suggestive poignant thoughts and ideologies that serve as a guide in every stage of life. Interlaced with threads of experiences of life and the lessons learnt from them, the book depicts seven inspiring stories weaved into the magnificent array of a rainbow. Charting the various shades of life, the book further highlights the ups and downs of each of the characters, who are embedded here as a metaphor for a rainbow, in the patio of a plethora of circumstances. 
 
By sharing wisdom, experiences and insights, Kaleidoscope – Colours of Life intends to deliver a message that will inspire and empower the readers to sense happiness and contentment, and help them to navigate life as a truly confident individual.”
 
 

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MORE ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Inderjit Kaur is an author, motivator with a powerful voice of spreading positive words through her writings. A highly influential blogger and inspirational guide who with her tag line ‘Keep smiling, keep shining’, has brewed up with the original concept of living through her books of A living series.

 

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“Not all get everything in this lifetime. Thus, leading to sorrow and despair.” – Ruchira Khanna

Today in our Blog Guest Post column, we have the contemporary fiction writer Ruchira Khanna, a Biochemist turned writer, who draws inspiration from various sources and tries to pen them down to create awareness within her and the society. Also a Reiki Master in her spare time where she passes out information about channeling universal energy and conducts sessions, author Ruchira shares with us about her new release Voyangers.

What inspired you to write Voyagers?

The book, ‘Voyagers into the Unknown’ has a theme. The theme is happiness.

This happiness is transcribed by many in the form of relationship, love, success, family, good health. If the man has all, then he is happy, but alas! Not all get everything in this lifetime. Thus, leading to sorrow and despair.

That’s when my journey into the unknown plot came into existence. The man is usually relaxed and opens up if he has traveled the seas to get something rather than that ‘something’ comes walking to him. I started the journey of these handful tourists who came from different walks of life and countries around the world to somebody who has been recommended. Raj is a tourist guide. He has seen it all…the ups and the down, the tragedy and the happiness. Thus, making him a man of steel. He mixes pleasure with the philosophy of life and tries to change the perception of his tourists by healing their broken hearts.

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More about Ruchira

She published a novel in 2013, which peeps into every one’s daily life named, “Choices”

Her children’s book came out in 2014, The adventures of Alex and Angelo for which she got thumbs up from Kirkus Reviews.

One of her story got included in a published anthology, The Turning point of Life, in 2014

The Lonely Wish Giver, a novel that includes work of ~299 writers from 27 countries. We all got together to write a group novel for NaNoWriMo.

Frozen by Fire, a novel written by ~ 499 writers from 54 countries.

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